Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States of America, but worldwide, it is the most lethal form of cancer. It has been estimated that close to 1 million cases will be diagnosed in 2008. Furthermore, an estimated 500,000 patients are expected to die from breast cancer this year.
The following statistics were taken from a recent article in Time magazine.
Incidence of breast cancer per 100,000 people in 2002:
U.S.A. – America has the highest rate of breast cancer with slightly over 101 cases per 100,000 people.
Mozambique – This country boasts the lowest incidence rate, with 3.9 cases per 100,000.
Other countries are as follows:
France 91.9 cases/100,000
Canada 84.3 cases/100,000
New Zealand 91.9 cases/100,000
Australia 83.2 cases/100,000
Philippines 46.6 cases/100,000
China 18.7 cases/100,000
Russia 38.3 cases/100,000
Japan 32.7 cases/100,000
India 19.1 cases/100,000
Israel 90.8 cases/100,000
Congo 10.3 cases/100,000
Nigeria 31.2 cases/100,000
France 91.9 cases/100,000
Brazil 46 cases/100,000
Argentina 73.9 cases/100,000
While American women have been faced with this potentially devastating disease for many decades, women in China and other countries are just now beginning to feel the full impact, as breast cancer is a relatively new issue for them, relatively speaking.
While highly developed countries see great cure rates when the disease is caught early, such is not the case for developing countries. To make matters worse, it is estimated that by the year 2020, 70% of all worldwide cases of breast cancer will be in those living in developing countries.
To put things into further perspective, while India has an estimated incidence rate of 19.1 cases per 100,000 – a long cry from the United States’ incidence rate of 101.1 cases per 100,000 – India has the world’s highest number of deaths from breast cancer.
Americans spend an estimated $8.1 billion yearly to diagnose and treat breast cancer. Public service advertisements, physician counseling, and a myriad of other resources inundate women with the message to get tested for breast cancer by way of a clinician breast exam, breast self-exam, and a yearly mammogram. Breast cancer treatment options are widely known by many women who have never even been diagnosed and physicians, hospitals, and clinics that specialize in this disease are ubiquitous.
In contrast, in Pune, India, home to 3.5 million women, only one facility provides comprehensive breast-cancer services. It is believed that half of all Indian women with breast cancer receive no treatment at all.
The next part of this series will look further into this global epidemic.